I finally decided to make an appointment to see a therapist, so I had my first session yesterday afternoon. It was an interesting session, and not like what some people imagine in their heads. There was no bed to lie down on, and the therapist did not constantly ask, “So how did that make you feel?”
Actually, what it did feel like… it felt like I was verbalizing my family’s long history over the last three generations. These are all the reasons that Ed was who he was, and why I am who I am. I realized while going through each story that every story has multiple backstories; nothing is really simple or clear cut in my family. The reasons why things have happened don’t always make sense, yet in my head, they have always made sense. Saying all of this out loud made me painfully aware of this.
I’ve spent most of my life, even now, holding in a lot of secrets, big and small. Even my closest, best friends don’t even know half the things that I’ve gone through and had to experience. It certainly hasn’t been healthy or rational, but I partly listened to my mom because she always said, “Don’t tell anyone.” The therapist acknowledged how stressful that must be. The truth is that I don’t want to keep secrets anymore; I want everything to be out in the open. The problem there, though, is that if you choose to reveal all these secrets, who are you telling who will genuinely, really care?
We ended the session with discussing how I felt about Ed and if I was angry with him. I was angry with him in the beginning, but that anger very quickly diminished and became an “I can’t really blame him” feeling. I love my brother, and I completely understand how he felt. No one else knows him like I did. Who knows – if I were in his shoes, maybe I might have done the same thing. I can never know that. No one can. But I know why he did what he did. That’s how scared he was. That’s how depressed he was. And that was how lonely he was.
I made my therapist cry. Maybe I should write a book one day that exposes all of my family’s deep, dark secrets. Maybe then, Ed and I will be fully set free from our demons.